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  1. #1
    Lolly's Avatar
    Lolly is offline your neighbor
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    Default Wanna help me choose a new laptop?

    Here's the scoop.

    I need a new work horse (laptop) PC. (My 8+ year old Dell Inspiron has served me very well, but it's finally begun to bite the dust.)

    My wants/needs include:
    • Something relatively light. I'm too old and cranky to carry around a brick anymore, and besides, the large screen isn't so important either now that I have a nice big external flatscreen to hook up when I'm at my desk.

    • Something relatively powerful. This is not because I particularly care about things like gaming but I have to be able to run software that will require me to run Windows XP in a virtual machine from Windows 7. I'm advised to get 6-8GB of memory and at least an Intel i5 second generation for this reason.

    • Money is an object. (Isn't it always?)

    Since I've had such good luck with my dear old Dell, I started looking at these...
    Dell Home Computers Store with Home and Home Office Products (Compare Results)

    And, having had some decent experience with my fun little HP mini over the past few years, I've also looked at these...

    (However I'm also open to other brand suggestions.)

    Any feedback on pros/cons of any of the above - aside from the obvious prices? Any other suggestions? Questions??

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    scotchrocks's Avatar
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    Macbook Air 11". $1500. Brilliant. You will wonder how you ever worked on a PC.
    "True freedom means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.” ~David Foster Wallace

  3. #3
    Lolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotchrocks View Post
    Macbook Air 11". $1500. Brilliant. You will wonder how you ever worked on a PC.
    Except I would lose my job, because the software I need to run only runs on PCs.

    Thanks though.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotchrocks View Post
    Macbook Air 11". $1500. Brilliant. You will wonder how you ever worked on a PC.
    I second that, in fact i'm typing on one right now. actually it's just before the 11 came out. Yes it is pricy but so worth it. I don't own a tv, car, stereo so this is my work horse. I can put it in my bag and no one knows i'm carrying it, especially my back. I was a PC girl forever, but once you try mac, it's true, you never go back. It requires patience at first but only about a week if that.

    It's worth it to me but if your heart is set on a pc these are looking good...

    HP Folio 13 Laptop Computer Review | PCWorld

    Dell's First Ultrabook, XPS 13, to Ship Next Week | PCWorld Business Center

    Search: ultrabooks | PCWorld
    "If you're going to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh; otherwise they'll kill you."
    - attributed to both George Bernard Shaw & Oscar Wilde


    "I never clean up after my dogs, because I have trained them to run with me off leash while I ride my bike the wrong way on the sidewalk."
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    Originally Posted by Dave L We need to focus on banning both singers who crap on the sidewalk and dogs that annoy people with their singing. - Mondo

  5. #5
    Sailaway's Avatar
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    No, don't bother with the overpriced toys. Seriously now.

    What are you going to use it for, besides running XP in a VM? Check out Acer's Inspire series. I have an i3 based one with only 2Gb on Win7 Pro 64 and it screams. Mind you, I'm not a big fan of Windows 7, which is basically a less-sh!tty version of Vista in my book. But it's a good, fast machine. You'll pay more, of course, if you want dedicated video, but since you say you're not a gamer that may not be an issue.
    If you believe people should work till they die to pay for a government worker to retire at 50, you're a Democrat. Otherwise, you're a Republican. All other differences between the parties are trivial.

  6. #6
    toxigal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailaway View Post
    No, don't bother with the overpriced toys. Seriously now.

    What are you going to use it for, besides running XP in a VM? Check out Acer's Inspire series. I have an i3 based one with only 2Gb on Win7 Pro 64 and it screams. Mind you, I'm not a big fan of Windows 7, which is basically a less-sh!tty version of Vista in my book. But it's a good, fast machine. You'll pay more, of course, if you want dedicated video, but since you say you're not a gamer that may not be an issue.
    i once had a boss who insisted we all use Macs despite the fact that all the laboratory software required PC which made it a bitch to do any data analysis as transferring the data never went smoothly.

    all that happened after one year of working on the Mac was I wondered why everyone thought they were so fantastic. I had some problems with mine and had to call tech support. i explained my problem and the response i got was "oh no, that doesn't happen on Macs".

  7. #7
    Lolly's Avatar
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    Sorry I should have made it clearer that the one and only absolute requirement here is to be able to do my particular job, which requires running a piece of sofware that's a bit of a dinosaur. So (as much as I would love to discover the fantastical world of Macs with all the rest of the enlightened people) I need a PC.

    More specifically, I need a PC with the following specs:
    • 6-8GB of memory
    • Intel i5 second generation (at least)

    (My wants include something relatively light and portable but that's not required to do my job.)

    For those inclined to understand more of the "why" here's the story...

    Microsoft has removed support for 16-bit applications (List of limitations in 64-Bit Windows) from 64-bit Windows. I need to run several 16-bit applications to do my job, which will not run on the current (64-bit) Windows.

    The Microsoft-recommended solution is to run Windows XP in a virtual machine from Windows 7 via Microsoft Virtual PC (Windows Virtual PC: Home Page). A colleague runs and develops on a 64-bit Windows 7 laptop with Oracle VM VirtualBox (VirtualBox Overview) running Windows XP (i.e. I am not limited to using Microsoft Virtual PC as my virtual machine software).

    Bottom line, I need the best PC I can afford with as much memory as possible, to allow me to run a full virtual machine.

  8. #8
    PhilaCap is offline Senior Member
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    mac vs pc thread. lol

  9. #9
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    There are so many PCs out there and available. I don't even know where to begin comparison shopping. But the last time I purchased a PC, I got it from Tiger Direct. I purchased a refurbished tower-style desktop years ago. I was pretty happy with it.

    As for the 16-bit conversation, I bet you could find some sort of emulator that would run on a Mac and it would probably run faster than a standard PC processor would run it. That is to say, if the ONLY reason that you won't get a Mac, and if you really WANT a Mac but won't get one b/c of this limitation, then there is probably a workaround.
    "True freedom means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.” ~David Foster Wallace

  10. #10
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    Lolly they've got about 2 yrs to get their act together or i'll find a fair trade small PC company who does. What the tech industry does is unconscionable. this info came to my brain after i got my air. or i simply could not have purchased it.

    Can one man change Apple? - Apple - Salon.com
    "If you're going to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh; otherwise they'll kill you."
    - attributed to both George Bernard Shaw & Oscar Wilde


    "I never clean up after my dogs, because I have trained them to run with me off leash while I ride my bike the wrong way on the sidewalk."
    - LUCas
    Originally Posted by Dave L We need to focus on banning both singers who crap on the sidewalk and dogs that annoy people with their singing. - Mondo

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    Lolly they've got about 2 yrs to get their act together or i'll find a fair trade small PC company who does. What the tech industry does is unconscionable. this info came to my brain after i got my air. or i simply could not have purchased it.

    Can one man change Apple? - Apple - Salon.com
    Oh jesus here we go. 16 chinamen commit suicide and the world's most valuable company is to blame.
    "True freedom means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.” ~David Foster Wallace

  12. #12
    Sailaway's Avatar
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    DOSBox is a good 16-bit emulator if you don't need Windows functionality. That said, Acer's AS5749 is an i5 w/ 6 or 8Gb and is around $600. I'd like HP and Dell more if they didn't preload so much junk that's hard to (properly and completely) get rid of, including Norton's or McAfee's.

    Edit: You may be able to get it through Tigerdirect. They usually have a good lineup and it's a good store.
    If you believe people should work till they die to pay for a government worker to retire at 50, you're a Democrat. Otherwise, you're a Republican. All other differences between the parties are trivial.

  13. #13
    Lolly's Avatar
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    Guess I should have also said I don't need to learn any new tricks.

    I need to hit the ground running with this thing.

    So yeah, I need a PC.

    Thanks Sailaway, I'll look into that Acer. And Tiger Direct.

    Anyone got anything else (relevant ) for me?

  14. #14
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    Two things that may be relevant:

    1) I bought an HP laptop three years ago and it's been nothing but trouble. HD failure in week two. CD/DVD reader/writer I paid significantly extra for stopped working after 14mos (got a fuc k you from HP as the 1yr warranty I paid for was up), now blue screens weekly with what appears to be a disk controller failure. Am fully backed up and already out looking for a new machine. This was a loaded high-end model that cost over $1500. Will never by HP again.

    2) I work in the custom software industry. Two of my windows programmers at work now use Mac laptops. I was surprised to learn this. To me, this means the the virtual/simul technology is fully mature. To write windows apps on a non-windows machine is quite a powerful statement. These guys are good and write stable apps too. I am seriously considering switching over.

    Jason

  15. #15
    devilspocket is offline Senior Member
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    I would sadly have to second Jason's non-recommendation of HP. As someone who had one of the first HP PC's - ran HP DOS - and has had numerous HP laptops over the years, I have to say that their machines are just not quality these days. My 17" laptop has killed a second hard drive and I have yet to replace it as I suspect it's a controller issue (very unusual for two hard drives to die in a laptop within six months). My HP touchscreen is just dead - will not start up, and this is apparently a common problem which HP refuses to address. Of course both machines are out of warranty. Newegg.com has some Lenovo laptops on sale that appear to have good specs. I think they're solidly built.

  16. #16
    toxigal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolly View Post
    Guess I should have also said I don't need to learn any new tricks.

    I need to hit the ground running with this thing.

    So yeah, I need a PC.

    Thanks Sailaway, I'll look into that Acer. And Tiger Direct.

    Anyone got anything else (relevant ) for me?
    Check CedarPC.com too. I got my netbook from them and they have great customer service.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolly View Post
    Guess I should have also said I don't need to learn any new tricks.

    I need to hit the ground running with this thing.

    So yeah, I need a PC.

    Thanks Sailaway, I'll look into that Acer. And Tiger Direct.

    Anyone got anything else (relevant ) for me?
    Yeah, you need to quit your job today and go buy a Mac.

    By Monday morning you won't have any regrets.

  18. #18
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    My work laptop is a HP and it stinks. I have no idea what model it is but I had an IT guy fixing it once and told me that he thought HP's were junk.

    I don't know enough about computers to give you a recommendation though.

  19. #19
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    The wife and I both got Dell 14Z series a few months back and have been very happy with them. Zs are their light/narrow ones. I bought the highest end Inspiron Z, got her something a little lower in power, forget the specs, but the price was great, hers was in the low $500s, mine in the mid $600s.

    Watch Dells special deals, assemble the one you want with the best deal you can get, and then call them, and see if they can beat that price. They knocked another $50 off the already discounted prices just because I picked up the phone and asked.
    "After it was all over, he took us in the house and served us pancakes. Pancakes!"

  20. #20
    five apples's Avatar
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    I wonder who told you you need 6-8 for memory, that is a pretty serious machine and I can't imagine it will be cheap.

    As to PCs, I have had every brand at some point in my life and I find that I actually like the new Lenovos. I know when they first took over from ibm they had some serious issues, but I have been pretty pleased with mine and I do run some pretty memory intensive software.

    As to Dell and HP, I think they are both pretty awful, but I would say that the Dells have been particularly awful.

    Also, you can actually buy a mac laptop and run windows on it. Though it doesn't seem right for your particular solution.

    As to finding one, go to google marketplace and type in some models to see what you can get. The prices are usually pretty great.

 

 

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